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August 2011 Update
The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust
& The Wilhelm Reich Museum

We thank you for your continual interest and support. For newcomers to our e-mail Update list, none of the names on this list--nor the names of any Museum visitors, conference attendees or bookstore customers--are shared with any other individuals or organizations. If at any time you wish to be removed from this list, please let us know.

Our previous Update (from June 2011) as well as all previous updates, dating from March 2004, available online. You can access them through the Updates option at the top of this page or via the Quick Links along the left side of the page. These Updates (53 of them) provide the best contemporaneous accounts of the Trust's ongoing activities over the past six years.

2012 Summer Conference
Banned Books Week Lecture
College Course on Wilhelm Reich
Cottages at Orgonon 


"The Orgone Energy Accumulator:
Facts, Distortions and Myths"

Thursday, Friday, Saturday
July 12, 13, 14 - 2012

Today we are seeing some of the most aggressive, repugnant and intellectually dishonest assaults on Reich and his legacy in 65 years--with an especially prurient focus on the orgone energy accumulator, Reich's principal research tool.

From major books, newspapers, magazines, television and radio in America and abroad, salacious and factually inaccurate narratives about Reich and the orgone energy accumulator continue to be widely promulgated.

Next summer's three-day conference will present, from Reich's extensive documentation, the scientific development of the orgone accumulator, starting in early 1939 with his experiments using large and small Faraday cages in his Oslo laboratory to determine the nature of the radiation phenomenon he had just discovered in specific micro-organisms. After Reich's emigration to America in August 1939, he continued these experiments in his laboratory in Forest Hills, New York, which eventually led to the construction of the first large orgone energy accumulator in October 1940 for human use.

This conference will also present a review of case studies involving the experimental medical applications of the orgone accumulator--starting in March 1941 in New York-- as documented by Reich and the physicians studying with him; plus an historic overview of the origins and longevity of distorted, factually inaccurate narratives of the accumulator.

More information about this 2012 Summer Conference will be forthcoming in our future Updates. 


"The True Story of a Court-Ordered Book Burning in America: Publications of Research Physician-Scientist Wilhelm Reich, M.D."

Saturday – September 24, 2011 – 1:00 p.m.

Monroe Township Public Library
4 Municipal Plaza
Monroe Township, N.J.

Kevin Hinchey
Co-Director, The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust
Rangeley, Maine

On August 23, 1956, six tons of books and published research journals were removed from a private publishing house in Manhattan, taken to a municipal garbage incinerator, and burned by order of a Federal Court injunction. On March 17, 1960, additional copies of these same materials were burned in Manhattan by order of this same injunction.

These books and research journals documented over two decades of the medical, scientific and socio-political legacy of Wilhelm Reich, M.D., a prominent Austrian research physician and scientist who had emigrated to America four days before the start of World War Two.

This lecture will trace the dramatic events that culminated in what is one of the most heinous examples of censorship in American history.

If you're planning to attend, please bring a friend or tell your friends about this lecture. It would be great to have a significant turn-out for this presentation about Wilhelm Reich.


Every year the American Library Association (ALA) designates the last week in September as Banned Books Week which "highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States."

But to our knowledge, the banning of Reich's books in 1954 by a Federal Court and the subsequent burning of his books in 1956 and 1960 have never been mentioned in any of the week's publicity materials or library events. The censorship of more well-known titles such as Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, James Joyce's Ulysses, and countless other books are customarily given primary attention.

Thanks to the efforts of Professor Joseph Heckman of Rutgers University, Trust director Kevin Hinchey will be giving the first presentation about the banning and burning of Reich's publications as a library event during Banned Books Week. 


During the week of July 11th, a small working group at Orgonon--including several college professors--made significant progress in designing a one-semester, 14-week college course about Reich's life and work.

The Trust's goal is to create an educational "product" or "prototype" that would bring Reich's legacy into a college or university curriculum--and in a way that addresses Reich's entire scientific and medical legacy, and not simply his psychiatric, political and social work which has been dealt with peripherally in a handful of courses over the years.

First, the span of Reich's life and work was organized into the following 14 classes which would meet once weekly for 2:45 hours:

Class 1

  • Introduction to the major themes of the course (i.e., Reich's energy concept, prevalent mainstream perceptions and distortions about Reich's legacy, etc.)

  • Reich's early life, medical school, early work as a Freudian psychoanalyst.

Class 2

  • Reich as a young pioneering psychoanalyst and psychiatrist in Vienna.

  • This class takes us up to the day that Reich was "politicized" (July 15, 1927).

Class 3

  • Reich's left-wing activities and the evolution of his psychoanalytic work in Vienna.

  • This class takes us up to Reich's last meeting with Freud (September 1930).

Class 4 & Class 5

  • Reich's psychoanalytic work, left-wing activities, and writings in Berlin.

  • Class 5 takes us up to Reich fleeing from Berlin after the Nazi newspaper condemns The Sexual Struggle of Youth (March 1933).

Class 6

  • Reich in Vienna, Copenhagen, Malmö, Slettin; his travels to London, Paris, Zurich; his psychoanalytic work progressing from the psychic to the somatic (1933-1934).

  • This class takes us up to Reich's expulsion from the IPA at Lucerne (August 1934).

Class 7

  • Bio-electrical experiments in Oslo (1934-1935).

Class 8

  • Bion experiments in Oslo (1936-1939).

Class 9

  • Discovery of orgone energy & the development of the orgone energy accumulator (Oslo/New York/Rangeley, 1939-1940).

  • This class takes us up to the construction of the first large accumulator (October 1940).

Class 10

  • Applications of the orgone energy accumulator, including case studies (1941-1956).

Class 11

  • Reich's other work, i.e, psychiatric orgone therapy, children and adolescence, work democracy, emotional plague, etc. (1940s-1950s).

Class 12

  • Oranur Experiment and weather engineering (Maine/Arizona, 1950-56).

Class 13

  • Reception and perception of Reich's work in U.S. – psychoanalytic/psychiatric/medical communities, literary/art/music communities, media, State Department, FBI, FDA, INS.

Class 14

  • FDA investigation, Reich's legal case, banning and burning Reich's publications.

  • Summary of Reich's legacy and its contributions to science, medicine, socio-politics, etc.


After establishing this overarching structure of the course, the group discussed key lecture points and reading materials by addressing two questions: "What is the design and content of each class?" and "At the end of each class, what are the readings for next week's class?"

The answers to both questions will involve considerable additional work over the next few months. But the group made substantial headway in identifying a reasonable, but robust preliminary reading list of Reich's writings for most of the fourteen classes, i.e., articles, book excerpts, and entire publications.

The group also identified other possible learning resources for specific classes: archival films and audiotapes, Reich's laboratory notebooks, as well as published materials from people other than Reich.

Our hope for this academic endeavor--as with our documentary film project, our 2012 Summer Conference, and our future museum exhibits--is to establish factual, intellectually honest narratives about Reich's life and legacy for newer audiences.

We'll keep you updated on the progress of this project. 


With autumn approaching, are you looking for a peaceful, reasonably priced get-away where you can enjoy the beautiful New England fall foliage?

Our two furnished housekeeping cottages offer quiet, seclusion and access to the shores of Dodge Pond, with a private dock for each cottage. And because these cottage rentals have become a substantial source of income for the Trust, what a perfect way to express your support in a practical way for all that we do. Please have a look at our cottages.


Please share this Update with colleagues, friends, and family who may be interested in the life and legacy of Wilhelm Reich and the good works of The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust and The Wilhelm Reich Museum. Thank you again for your friendship and support.

Help us maintain the legacy of Wilhelm Reich by making a tax-deductible donation.

Copyright © 2004- Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust

Contact : 207.864.3443 | wreich@rangeley.org